BOSTON (CBS) – Sixty-seven percent of second marriages and 74% of third marriages end up in a courtroom. Those are not good odds.

What is it about marriage that makes folks want to try it again and again? I know we live in a very coupled world. Singles, whether by choice, divorce, or widowhood, often feel left out of the mainstream social circles.

With the second or third time go around you need to do more planning. And having been through it before you should know some of the pitfalls. Interestingly studies show that most individuals actually repeat their mistakes!

Before you say “I do” again you need to have an open and frank dialog about money, children, estate planning and a possible prenuptial agreement. These agreements are not just for celebrities or the very wealthy.

A prenuptial agreement can provide a fair and equitable way for a couple to start a relationship, especially if one has more assets than the other or one of you is expecting to inherit future assets or there are children from a previous marriage you want to provide for.

The older you are when you enter into a second marriage the more you should be concerned about planning. Falling in love at any age has a way of throwing you off balance. You have a new person in your life and, of course, you want to take care of them.

Marriage comes with advantages and disadvantages. You could lose benefits from your first marriage such as a pension or health care coverage if you remarry. It could also effect your Social Security benefits.

Before saying “I do” for the second or third time around seek some professional advice.

But a word of caution if you are entering into a relationship and you both have adult children, assets, and a home from a previous marriage, maybe you don’t want to get married. Maybe you just become friends with benefits!

One more thing:  If you are married you are financially responsible for your spouse’s care. If you do not have an estate plan, the state of Massachusetts assumes you wish everything to go to your spouse and children if you should die. Half to each. That may not be what you wanted. You may have wanted everything to go to your children upon your death.

Resource* According to Forest Institute of Professional Psychology, Sixty-seven percent of second marriages and 74% of third marriages end up in a courtroom.

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